( CNN) When Vladimir Putin focused on black voter depression and sowing racial divisions in the 2016 election to help propel Donald Trump into the White House, he engaged in what is, unfortunately, a longstanding and time-tested American practice.

Two reportscommissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee found that a Russian disinformation campaign interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump by exploiting all major social media platforms and sowing racial and political divisions. Specifically, the Russian influence campaign on social media targeted African-American voters to depress Democratic turnout.

The first report, produced by Austin, Texas-based cybersecurity company New Knowledge, found that Russian interference in the 2016 election involved hacking tries on online voting systems, a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, and a “sweeping and sustained social influence operation consisting of various coordinated disinformation tactics aimed directly at US citizens, designed to exert political influence and exacerbate social divisions in US culture.” The disinformation operation was the work of the Russian state-supported Internet Research Agency( IRA ), whose work included1 0 million tweets, 116,000 Instagram posts, 61,000 Facebook posts and 1,000 videos.